The extent of our Puerto Rico explorations took place on the eastern part of the island, the vast majority of that time was spent in the heart of historic Old San Juan. Weather conditions upon our arrival and throughout our trip weren't always favorable, but we were given a pretty good mixture of sunny and stormy days, so we didn't let those that were dreary dampen our excitement to explore. We really enjoyed the simplicity of just strolling the blue cobblestone streets, taking pictures of the assorted sorbet-colored colonial style buildings, and sampling tasty Puerto Rican street snacks along the way. Rarely did we venture into any of the shops or galleries throughout our tour, although some were too hard to pass up.
After two days in the fast-paced city, we headed toward the easternmost tip of the island to be swept away to a more serene setting, but not before making a pit stop first! Originally, we planned on spending an entire day in the tropical rainforest of El Yunque, however, all-day dwindled to a few hours due to misinformation we received from an out-dated guidebook. I was still glad that we managed to fit it in at all, because I would have hated to miss it altogether. This super quick pit stop had us speed-hiking a trail through a non-stop drizzle to the base of a very popular waterfall where we were privileged enough to take a plunge in at the end. It was an exhilarating way to finish off this whirlwind tour! On our way out of the park, we stopped off to catch a glimpse of a roadside waterfall before heading toward the town of Fajardo to hop on the ferry over to a smaller island called Vieques. Due to the earlier confusion about ferry times, we had to wait a few hours for the next boat.
The ride to the neighboring island took about 1.5 hours, and was a fairly pleasant way to kickback and take it easy while someone else worried about navigating. Once on Vieques, we worked out a ride with a publico to take us to our guesthouse in Esperanza. Perched high up on a hill, in a residential neighborhood, was the setting of our homebase for the next few evenings. We didn't mind being off the mainstrip since the walk was a short 10 minutes to the beach. Our time on Vieques was divided between walking the sandy white beaches while treasure hunting, and frequenting the local restaurants to refuel and indulge. In the evening, we took a captivating tour of the nearby bioluminescent bay, which was a major highlight of the entire trip. Can you imagine swimming amongst a sea of glimmering micro-organisms that glow upon contact?!?! It was an amazing experience! This magical paradise was definitely a great place to slow down and enjoy the solitude.
After a rough ride back to Puerto Rico on the ferry, and climbing back into the saddle of our rental van, we attempted to make our way back to San Juan. It wasn't until we got lost a few times that we found our way to the next and final destination, the Andalucia Guesthouse was located on a semi-busy street, just a few blocks away from the beach. For the area we wanted to be in, which was close to the airport, this place was perfectly situated and was close to some rather convenient amenities. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to thoroughly inspect our surroundings before our departure the next day. So many food choices, so little time! We did, however, find a moment to eat at an awesome bakery before leaving for the airport.
Wait! Is that it?! Nooooaaaah....
What I have shared here is a very quick run down of everything we did during our most recent trip to Puerto Rico. There are many missing details that I plan to fill you in on over the next couple weeks. For instance, a detailed 'report' on the scrumptious foods we ate during our stay on the island. A sampling that will be filled with snacks, out of the ordinary breakfast treats, and other yummy morsels. Food was one of our favorite parts of this trip, and I can't wait to make you salivate :D Overall, it was one of those vacations that had a great mix of adventures that kept us on our toes, but one that also allowed us to take it easy when we needed it the most. STAY TUNED!!
Posted in: My World Tuesday